How Caroline Marks is writing surf history

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Caroline Marks is riding the wave of success early on.

The 18-year-old surfer took to the sport to follow her older brothers, who are still her main motivation even as she makes her mark against the top professionals in the sport.

She won her first World Surf League Championship last year at Boost Mobile Pro in Australia. She beat Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore, who together have 11 world championships, en route to victory. This event was particularly significant as it was the first time that the female champion had received the same cash prize ($ 100,000) as the male champion in the Quicksilver Pro side competition.

Marks received the same award for winning in Australia as the male winner. Photographed in San Clemente, Ca.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

But Marks doesn’t necessarily surf for money or intentionally fight for gender equality.

“I’m sure the girls who’ve been on tour for a while thought about it a lot more than I did,” she told the the Wall Street newspaper after the historic moment. “I don’t even think about the money. I just go out there and surf. But equal pay is incredible, for sure.

Marks became the youngest surfer to qualify (she was 15) for the Women’s Championship Tour in 2017. In 2018, her first year in the major leagues, she was named Rookie of the Year after being ranked No. 7 in a competitive season, and she has a solid chance of making it to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where surfing will make its debut.


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